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Ah, that was mostly just my impression - apologies for presenting it as 
fact when it wasn't!

On 6/26/2013 1:52 PM, R A Brown wrote:
> On 26/06/2013 05:06, Aodhán Aannestad wrote:
>> And a further question ( :P ) - for people with IE-esque
>> conlangs where case morphology is largely inalienable
>> from nouns, are foreign names uninflectable or are they
>> wedged somehow into the case system? (cf Latin vs.
>> Ancient Greek - Latin tries to jam them in (hence
>> 'Confucius', 'Gustavus', etc.), while Greek just leaves
>> them alone (Ισραήλ and so on).)
>
> Sorry - this is simply untrue.
>
> Israel is _Israēl_ in Latin.  Some writers, it is true,
> stick on 3rd declension endings for oblique forms, but
> others leave it as an indeclinable noun.
>
> Israel was originally a name given to Jacob, who is
> indeclinable in both Greek (Ἰακώβ) and Latin (Iacōb) - no
> "wedging" there.
>
> The names _Confucius_ and Gustavus_ are *not* Classical
> Latin, and making a comparison between 'modern' Latin and
> ancient Greek is simply nonsense.  In any case, the later
> Greek names, just like the later Latin names, are "wedged"
> into the the case system: Κομφούκιος (Komphoúkios),
> Γουσταῦος (Goustaûos - Katharevousa accentuation).
>
> If Aodhan cares to read Herodotos, he will discover that
> Persian names are being "wedged" into the case system all
> over the place.  A few examples:
> Dārayava(h)uš --> Δαρεῖος (Dareîos), gen. Δαρείου (Dareíou)
> Xšayaṛšā  ---> Ξέρξης  (Xérxēs), gen.  Ξἐρξου (Xérxou)
> Kambūǰiya --> Καμβύσης (Kambýsēs), gen. Καμβὐσου (Kambýsou)
> etc.
>
> The Greeks also did the same sort "wedging" with Egyptian
> names, e.g.(with the Egyptian forms we know only
> the consonants):
> ḫwfw  -->  Χέοψ (Khéops); genitive: Χέοπος (Khéopos)
>
> In the Old Testament we find names "wedged", such:
> Moses is Μωυσής (gen. Μωυσῆ), Isaiah becomes Ἠσαΐας (gen.
> Ἠσαΐου) and so on.   If you care to compare the Septuagint
> and the Vulgate version of the Old Testament, you will find
> more the less the _same_ names left indeclinable in the two
> languages, and the same ones "wedged" into Greek or Latin.
>
> I have known these two languages for more than half a
> century and am not aware of any significant difference in
> their treatment of foreign names.
>
> An interesting name that cropped in another thread on this
> list not so long ago is Joseph ~ Josephus.  Both Jacob's
> 11th son and, centuries later, the foster father of Jesus
> are indeclinable in both languages: Ἰωσήφ, Iōsēph.
>
> But the historian Joseph ben Matityahu, better known to us
> as _Josephus_, always wrote his names as Ἰώσηπος (Iōsēpos)
> in Greek. Why he chose to use pi rather phi before "wedging"
> it into Greek with the nominative ending -os, I do not know.
>  However, when this guy was given roman citizenship by the
> Emperor Vespasian he came _Titus Flāvius Jōsēphus_.
>
> This problem of whether to leave a noun indeclinable or to
> "wedge" it into the language is one that any language with
> declinable nouns has.  It interesting seeing how Zamenhof
> himself dealt with this in his translation of the Jewish
> Scriptures (No - he didn't just stick -o on the end of them
> all!).   But I've written ling enough, methinks.
>